Chicago – Last night the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the legislative text for its COVID-19 relief legislation, which includes a provision to support state efforts to extend Medicaid coverage in the postpartum period.
Dr. Twylla Dillon, HealthConnect One Executive Director, released the following statement in support of this critical provision to the Energy and Commerce Committee Covid-19 Relief Legislation:
“In this critical pandemic moment, long-standing health inequities in birth experiences in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities put women, birthing people, and babies center stage. These inequities do not only present a public health issue for our communities. Instead, they and other health inequities are alerting us to the inevitable challenges to control COVID-19. We must address inequities in birth, COVID-19, and other health issues.
“State maternal mortality review committees across the country have identified Medicaid extension in the postpartum period as a foundational policy for addressing our nation’s maternal mortality crisis. If enacted, the postpartum Medicaid extension provision in the COVID-19 relief legislation will be a significant down payment on Congress’ continued efforts to end preventable maternal death and eliminate racial inequities in maternal health outcomes. The postpartum Medicaid policy included in the COVID-19 bill is an important and necessary step towards this goal.”
The postpartum Medicaid extension provision included in the E&C bill would:
- Provide an option for states to extend Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum, which will streamline state efforts to achieve this policy. We’ll need to continue to advocate for this policy to be mandatory for states with sufficient federal matching funds;
- Require full Medicaid benefits
- Apply to all postpartum individuals with Medicaid coverage regardless of eligibility pathway;
- Apply to all postpartum individuals with Medicaid coverage regardless of health condition Apply to all postpartum individuals with CHIP coverage in those states that extend coverage to pregnant individuals under CHIP;
- Not include additional federal matching funds. A significant FMAP bump is something we’ll need to continue to advocate for.
- Sunset after 5 years. We’ll need to continue to advocate for a permanent policy for Medicaid extension to 12 months postpartum.
HealthConnect One is the national leader in advancing equitable, community-based, peer-to-peer support for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting. HealthConnect One is committed to collaborating with Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to ensure safe and healthy pregnancies and births, thriving babies and families, and successful early parenting and nutrition.